When you begin to have concerns regarding arthritis or are beginning to experience symptoms and signs associated with the disease, the first step is to choose the right doctor or therapist. While many patients are under the assumption that it is only the medically trained doctor that can treat arthritis, this is not the case. In fact, there are many specialists and therapists who can help treat arthritis symptoms in their own ways. There is terminology that is used regarding the many different types of therapists which is described below as well as how they help arthritis patients to deal with their condition. *
Health Professionals Who Treat Arthritis
The following are some of the many different types of health professionals that treat people with arthritis:
Primary care physicians: These are doctors that are the patient’s primary care physician, meaning they are the “regular” doctor that the patient sees. Primary care physicians are responsible for referring the patient to other specialists. These doctors are known as “general physicians” or GPs and are not specialists.
Rheumatologists: Rheumatologists specialize in conditions relating to the joints and specialize in arthritis treatments and other conditions that affect the bones, muscles and joints.
Orthopedists: Orthopedists are doctors that specialize in treating joint and bone diseases and surgeries for the diseases
Physical therapists: Also referred to as physiotherapists are professionals in the health care system that work with patients using various techniques such as exercise to help the patient improve the function and mobility of their joints.
Occupational therapists: These therapists are professionals in the health care system that educate patients on the various ways and techniques to conserve energy, minimize pain and protect joints.
Dietitians: Dieticians are professionals in the health care system who education patients on how to eat healthy and improve their daily diet and how to maintain and control a healthy weight.
Nurse educators: These are professionals in the health care system that specialize in caring for patients and helping them to understand their overall condition and implement the treatment plans ordered by the doctors.
Physiatrists (rehabilitation specialists): Physiatrists are doctors who have trained to help patients to regain their physical potential.
Acupuncture therapists: These therapists are professionals in the health care system then treat patients with acupuncture techniques which are the insertion of needles into their skin and results in improving physical functions and reducing pain.
Psychologists: These professionals in the health care system help patients cope with difficult times in their lives such as medical conditions, hardships within the workplace, or trouble at home or in relationships.
Social worker: These health care professionals provide help to patients that have social challenges due to an illness, home health care, financial hardships, disability and other needs relating from the person’s medical condition.
Naturopaths: These are therapists in the health care system that treats their patients through natural means only.
Homeopaths: These are therapists in the health care system that specialize in a holistic, natural and safe treatment for a number of illnesses and ailments which include arthritis, toothache, headaches, hay fever, diarrhea, eczema, depression, and asthma..
Herbalists: Herbalists are professionals who are educated in the field of herbal medicine and the healing properties of plants. They resort to many different ways to treat their patients which include herbal supplements, leaves, crude plants, seeds and dried roots. The various plant parts are used to treat the patient’s disease including patients with arthritis.
When treating arthritis, it is important that you view yourself and your doctor or therapist as a team. You will need to work closely together in order to ensure the best care. Treatment among patients that have a good relationship with their doctors and therapists tends to have better results.